So the day of Emerald City Comicon finally arrived and OMA was on the scene to cover the amazing Magic art on display. After waiting in line for badges and a brief run to Pike Place Market for lunch, the doors finally opened at 1:52 (8 minutes early!) and I was the fourth person inside the building. 2 escalators and a brisk walk around the gaming floor to find room for The Gathering earned me the honor of being the first visitor to see this awesome collection of art:
Here are all of the pieces close up:
Yes, the glare is pretty bad. Yes, that is me in some of the pictures (aren’t I pretty). Yes, that is an amazing collection of Alpha pieces.
Special thanks go out to Peter Adkison, Jeff A. Menges and Julie Baroh for sharing their collections with the Magic Art community.
In addition to the paintings, there was a collection of over 300 Alpha Test Cards:
These cards could technically be older than the art on display and give great insight into the ideas that were likely communicated to the first set of Magic artists to create their paintings. It would be interesting to pair up the Test card to the final art to see if there was any carry over from test card to final published work. Maybe later.
Hopefully you have picked your jaw off the floor and re-affixed your eyes firmly in their sockets, because it is time for the new art that was on display for The Gathering Kickstarter project.
Having transitioned to digital media in the last few years, Heather pulled out all of the stops for this piece. Gone is the monkey-bat hybrid demon of old, replaced with a mysterious figure in the background and the Chains becoming a character themselves. This piece is simply amazing in person. According to Heather, her process does still involve pencil sketches, so there may be a unique piece available for this art. Anyone interested in prints, giclees or a potential sketch should contact here through her website.
Sandra has also joined the digital revolution, it appears, and has brought us an amazing child figure with some really funky hair. The piece is digital and sadly Sandra was not available to shed more light on the art. Those of you looking for prints of the piece can look to social media to contact Sandra.
What can I say but Wow! With this piece, Julie is showing us how much she has grown as an artist in the last 20 years. Scroll up a bit and compare the Alpha Clone to this one. What a difference! Even I was amazed at Julie’s commitment to improve her style. Talking with Julie, she was still in school and developing her painting abilities when Alpha was released. Needless to say, her work has paid off on this piece and I hope she able to work on Magic art again in the future as this piece would be an epic Clone. Anyone one interested in the piece should reach out to Julie at Krab Jab Studio.
I mean, if women can show off their bodies, why not men as well? Besides being a light breeze away from a wardrobe malfunction, Liz created a very interesting and engaging character with this piece. With a well detailed and developed fore and background that is contrasted with a provocative central figure, this piecece is deceptive. While the main character is obviously the focus, I personally enjoy the amount of work that was put into the stone masonry at the top of the painting. Even though the painting may not be for sale, anyone interested in prints should contact Liz on her website.
Brian’s Recall may have been the inspiration for this piece, but the mood and atmosphere that this piece achieves completely alters the feel of the new piece. The main character, now featuring two legs as opposed to 1.5 (just noticed that myself), is more dynamic and the floating gravestones really emphasize the message of the piece. At Brian’s booth I was shown a few of his other paintings and the level of detail in his work is astounding. Make sure to check out his website if you are interested in the Recall piece, but the work he has done with Asian helmets and armor is simply mind blowing and should not be missed.
I posit that Pete Venters must be at least some part Goblin. How else would he get the insight necessary to create such amazing Goblin images? Ergo, ipso facto, quid pro quo and other Latin phrases, Pete Venters is part Goblin. Morrox, Demon Prince of Goblins is extremely happy to be where he is and do what he is doing, which appears to be roasting humans alive with his magical flamethrower. Pete did an amazing job with this piece and anyone interested in purchasing one of these limited edition giclees should contact Pete at his blog or on Twitter @PeteVenters.
Drew did an amazing job with this piece. Not only is the size quite large, but the characters just ooze… well they probably just ooze. The facial expressions on the piece are what really appeals to me. Bleak, weary faces in the dark; the epitome of a Murk Dweller. The best place to reach Drew if you are interested in this piece is through social media.
Bold colors? Check. Angel? Check. Fire & Brimstone? Check. Ken is really showing off with this piece. Initially done digitally, the darker areas of the piece were painted over by Ken to emphasize the darker tones. Since the physical adjustments would not be replaceable, this would qualify as the original art for the piece that will be published in The Gathering. Even though I doubt it will still be available after this weekend, anyone interested in the piece can reach out to Ken via his website.
Good ole Uncle Istvan. Good ole axe wielding, no damage taking Uncle Istvan. The memories we had together. After almost 20 years, Uncle Istvan is still up to his homicidal ways. Receiving a digital update, Daniel Gelon has brought us a much starker image of the ultimate creepy uncle than was seen in the past. Now, Istvan’s axe is coated in the blood from a recent incident and still he isn’t happy. Though the piece is digital, prints should be available and anyone interested should reach out to Daniel on social media.
You can tell by the checkerboards that Margaret has been here. While reminiscent of the work done for Amulet of Kroog, which it was based on according to the artist, this piece, and the high level of detail we see in it, showcases Margaret’s continued growth as an artist. This is one of the pieces that I am seriously considering taking home with me this weekend as I have been looking to add a piece of Margaret’s to my collection and the level of detail in this piece is quite appealing to me. If this does somehow not end up on the way to my house by the end of the con, you can contact Margaret on twitter @Organ_Kean.
This piece is all about the background. The richly colorful background enhances the atmosphere of the lone tower and almost invites one in to investigate who is dwelling in the tower. While the painting is listed not for sale, anyone interested in prints can reach out to Nicola on social media.
Described by Jeff as “how he would have done the original Black Knight if he knew Magic was going to be as successful as it was”, this piece makes me wish we could make that happen. Not to knock Jeff’s original version, which will always hold a special place in my heart, but Jeff really did a great job improving on one of the classic images from Alpha. Details abound throughout the painting and a since of calm from the babbling brook and plodding step of the horse belies the dark heart underneath the armor of this Black Knight. Though the original is not available from the artist, you can always try to obtain prints from Jeff through his publishing company, Full Steam Press.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Mike’s wizard playing with his new magical artifact. This piece is another that I would put on the short list of art that will mostly be bought during the convention. Not only is the piece quite large, it also has a broad appeal with magic, dragons and dice all appearing to attract interest. If you are interested in the piece, or prints of the art, make sure to contact Mike on his website.
Not pictured is Anthony S. Waters’ piece as my phone ran out of juice before I could get a good picture. Needless to say I will make sure to get it in tomorrow’s update.
Additional interesting tidbits learned during the first day of the con:
- Mark Tedin will be doing a Chaos Orb inspired piece for The Gathering
- Pete Venters and Jeff A Menges are taking point on The Gathering and have many exciting Stretch Goals planned for the public
- The original art for Liz Danforth’s Hymn to Tourach is available, but priced at a minimum of $6k
- The cell data coverage at the convention center in Seattle cannot take thousands of gamers checking their smart phones all at one time
- Doug Shuler’s piece for The Gathering is going to be inspired by his most recognizable piece of Magic art
- Magic artists are good people
Well, that’s it for Friday. Time for some sleep to get ready for more amazing art tomorrow.
Make sure to follow @OriginalMtGArt on Twitter to keep up to date on the goings on at The Gathering and Emerald City Comicon.